Community Hospitality: Improving Advocacy and Support for Refugees
When refugees are resettled into a destination, not-for-profit organisations offer frontline services to ease refugees’ experiences of trauma and marginalisation, providing advocacy and welcome through reception processes, translation services and multicultural centres. These organisations facilitate, bridge and negotiate the former refugees’ daily experiences of vulnerability, trauma, resilience, inclusion and hostility in a climate of limited resourcing. The degree and effectiveness of welcome given by these service organisations is of importance to how quickly refugees feel they belong and can settle quickly in their new society. Adopting the framework of ‘community hospitality’, this paper presents the findings of original research conducted with 34 not-for-profit organisations in New Zealand. Ketso, a creative, participatory tool was used as a community engagement method. The results indicate how these not-for profit organisations felt the welcome, advocacy and support for former refugees could be better organised to support the settlement process. The barriers and challenges to the provision of community hospitality by community organisations are discussed, and priorities identified to improve the refugee resettlement process and outcomes.